Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Meet the Zagreb Digital Nomad Week Locations: Canopy by Hilton (Interview)

June 15, 2021 - Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 kicks off on June 21 with Day 1 dedicted to cybersecrity at Canapy by Hilton, a recent very funky addition to the Croatian capital's hotel scene. 

I paid my first visit to Canopy by Hilton in Zagreb a few weeks ago, a recently-opened hotel in the capital, and the third in the Hilton brand in the city. It was a hotel like no other I had been to in Croatia. More part of the community than a 4-star hotel. A very modern and funky feel. The perfect place to kick off Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021, I thought to myself. And I was delighted when the progrressive marketing team from Canopy by Hilton recognised the digital nomad opportunity for the city and offered to help by hosting that all-important first day. With such a great setting, and with Marko Rakar the keynote speaker on cybersecurity (you can read Marko's interview here), ZDNW should get off to a great start. 

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In addition to the great organisation, I am very grateful to Nives Volarevic, Cluster Marketing Director for Hilton Hotels in Zagreb, for finding time for this pre-event interview.

1. I was on a day trip to Plitvice last week with an executive from Airbus who told me that she always stays in the funkiest hotel she can find in a city, and Canopy by Hilton was her Zagreb choice. It is certainly a little different from a traditional hotel concept. As it is a relatively new hotel in Zagreb, people may not be so aware. Tell us a little about theCanopy concept.

Canopy by Hilton is Hilton’s lifestyle hotel brand focused on the neighbourhood - local and authentic.

The hotel is situated in the heart of the Croatian capital, near the city’s main rail station and within the Branimir Centar shopping mall. Guests can grab a complimentary Canopy Bike and explore the many nearby attractions, where there are shops, restaurants, and nightlife in every direction. With more museums per capita than any city in the world, and with a vibrant art and theatre scene, Zagreb is a city of great culture with much to explore.

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The hotel is home to 151 guestrooms, including eight spacious suites. The interiors of the rooms are inspired by the local neighbourhood, with local textiles and artwork featured throughout, and the signature canopy is inspired by Croatia’s national emblem. 

For breakfast, guests can start their day with an inclusive artisanal breakfast in Canopy Central or have a Canopy Breakfast Bag delivered to their door. Guests can savour authentic cuisine with fresh local ingredients at the ReUnion Restaurant, or small nibbles, bites and local spirits, wines and craft beers at Canopy Central Café and Bar. Each evening, the Canopy Central Bar hosts a complimentary tasting of local drinks and bites for hotel guests. 

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For meetings and events, Zagreb is a great choice as it is superbly connected by its recently expanded airport which is just 20 minutes away from Canopy by Hilton Zagreb. The hotel has two meeting rooms which are ideal for smaller meetings and social events such as cocktail receptions. The hotel also has a spacious 24-hour fitness centre.

Canopy Enthusiasts (staff), or local experts, are available for guests looking for recommendations on the must-see landmarks in Zagreb – anywhere from restaurants to excursions.

2. Canopy by Hilton will be hosting the opening day of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021. Tell us about your involvement, and why you decided to get involved.

We recognized the opportunity to get to know digital nomads better, their needs and desires, special requirements, but also to explore a new tourist niche in the market. Canopy by Hilton Zagreb with its atypical design, relaxed atmosphere, graffiti on the walls and local character is really made for digital nomads to absorb the local art and culture and get to know Zagreb and its residents. Also, there are some fantastic spots in the hotel to use as a working space; community table at our Canopy Central bar, social table at ReUnion restaurant. Business centre on 1st floor. And a Retreat room if they need some quite place to work or meet.

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3. There is certainly a lot of buzz about Croatia and digital nomads, especially after the introduction of the 12-month permit. Are you seeing an increase in remote workers staying at your three Zagreb hotels? 

In the last year and a half we have noticed a larger number of guests who came to Zagreb for business, but due to covid measures spent more time in the rooms working. Many of them have recognized Zagreb as a destination that is well connected with European cities, provides quality and a not too expensive lifestyle and has a diverse offer of art and cultural content.

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4. How does a hotel adjust its offer to meet this new tourist demand, and what concrete steps have you taken in this direction?

We are still just learning how the life of a digital nomad works, what are their needs and their expectations. We try to provide everything they expect but also a little bit more.... We know that working on a computer is often lonely so we assumed that hanging out with people with similar interests would be something that would be a good counterbalance. We are adapting to the new situation, we create our hotel offer according to their needs. At this point, the most important thing is to be flexible.

5. What are for you the biggest attractions of the city of Zagreb for potential digital nomads?

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Except the well-known Zagreb attractions such as the Old Town or the Cathedral in Zagreb, there are many less-known places, parks, churches and curiosities.

I would recommend many excellent food, film and wine festivals, exploring the surroundings of Zagreb through excellent wineries, many exhibitions of Croatian and international artists. I would especially highlight the Grounded Solar System of Zagreb; many don't know that in 2004, the other planets joined the Grounded Sun (author Ivan Kožarić, Bogovićeva Street) to form Zagreb's grounded solar system. The creator is Davor Preis, who had an incredible idea how to make it possible for citizens of Zagreb to explore our Solar System without leaving our beloved capital. He has placed the planets all across the town, according to their correct sizes and distances from the Sun. They are placed in more than one direction from the Sun as if they were actually rotating around it. Today, finding the planets is considered a treasure hunt loved both by locals and tourists in Zagreb.

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You can learn more about Canopy by Hilton in Zagreb on the official website.

For more information about Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador Project, visit the Saltwater Noamds website. ZDNW is organised by Saltwater Nomads, TCN and Zagreb Tourist Board, who are financing the project.

For the latest news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Investment in Tourism: After Zagreb, Hilton Looks to Coast

After finding its place in the country's capital, Hilton is looking for further potential locations and opportunities along the Croatian coast for its Canopy hotels as Cappelli cites an investment in tourism for 2019.

As we reported yesterday, in a huge investment in tourism, Canopy by Hilton has found its way to the Croatian capital of Zagreb, but the search for possible hotel locations isn't over for the highly respected hotel company yet. 

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 12th of November, 2018, the brand nurtures local culture, and this is Canopy by Hilton's very first hotel in continental Europe. After the opening in Zagreb, such hotels in desirable European capitals are set to open, including London, Madrid, and Paris.

Hotel Canopy by Hilton, a massive eight million euros worth of investment by Hrvoje Pezić's Zagreb City Hotels company, was opened on Monday in Zagreb's Branimir Centre.

The lifestyle brand is, as stated, set to take numerous other European cities. It nurtures local culture, and domestic designers, including Studio Franić and Šekoranja, as well as Croatian furniture manufacturers, who are engaged in decorating the Zagreb hotel, as pointed out from Hilton.

In the hotel itself, you can find various pieces of Zagreb's long history, from folklore to its rich scientific and industrial heritage, as well as some of the capital city's typical traditional dishes presented in a new, modern way at the ReUnion restaurant.

The hotel boasts 151 rooms, a restaurant and bar, a fitness room, a retreat room, a transfer room and two meeting rooms.

''After DoubleTree, we're opening Canopy, and we're expecting the opening of Garden Inn next year. We're exceptionally proud of this hotel and we're happy to have had such good cooperation. Croatia is an extremely important market for Hilton. It has a wonderful coastline and we're already looking to expand there and develop our hotels there, but the City of Zagreb is also of utmost importance because it's growing, and we also want to participate in that,'' stated Alan Mantin, Managing Director of Hilton for the development in southern Europe.

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli emphasised that this investment with the world-renowned brand will contribute to the even better positioning of Zagreb as well as Croatia as a destination which boasts a high quality offer.

Want to keep up with more news on hotel openings, investments in tourism, or just news in Zagreb? Make sure to follow our travel, lifestyle, and Total Zagreb pages for much more.

Click here for the original article by Marija Crnjak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 12 November 2018

Canopy by Hilton: Zagreb Opens Brand Yet to Arrive in London and Paris

The new Canopy hotel by Hilton has 151 rooms, a restaurant and bar, a fitness room, a retreat room, a transfer room, and two meeting rooms.

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